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Gender, sex and sexuality are all pretty complicated concepts – and definitely not as black and white as some people might think. The most important thing to realise is that you’re not defined by your sexuality or gender. You’re you, and that’s awesome.

If you have questions about, or feel like you need support related to, sexuality or gender, there are national, state- and territory-based services with volunteers and staff who have had personal experience with or training in dealing with LGBTQIA+ questions and concerns.

This can help if:

  • you’re not sure about your sex, sexuality or gender
  • you’ve been rejected or harassed
  • you feel alone or isolated
  • you or someone you know needs to talk about sex, sexuality or gender.
Men talking to eachother with paintings in background

Understanding your sexuality and gender

Everyone’s sexuality is different, and it’s not necessarily as simple as being ‘gay’ or ‘straight’. Some people are attracted to only one sex, and others are attracted to a diversity of people regardless of their sex or gender, with a lot of different preferences in-between. For more information on understanding your sexuality, check out this article.

'Gender' refers to your sense of who you are as a guy, girl or something else, as opposed to what your physical characteristics, genes and hormones indicate (your ‘sex’). Identifying your gender can be more diverse than simply seeing yourself as ‘male’ or ‘female’, and people express their gender in different ways. For further help on understanding gender, have a look at Everything you need to know about gender.

Head here for a breakdown of the difference between gender, sex and sexuality, courtesy of the Gender Unicorn.

Support services

Emergency help

If you’re feeling distressed and want to talk to someone right now, call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, Lifeline on 13 11 14, or one of the other contacts in the urgent help section, all of which provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. They are available to discuss whatever is going on with you, and are trained to help you figure out what to do.

If you have experienced threats or violence, report it to the police on 131 444.

National services

If you’re looking to talk to someone about sex, sexuality or gender but you’re outside the local call area of a capital city, you can contact the number/website below to get connected with your local sexuality and gender support service.

QLife

A national service that aims to keep LGBTQI communities supported and connected.

Phone: 1800 184 527 (3pm–midnight AEST)

Online chat (3pm–midnight AEST)

National services which may be of use for those who identify as intersex include:

Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group

Organisation Intersex International

State- and territory-based services

Australian Capital Territory

AIDS Action Council

Provides face-to-face counselling and access to social groups in the ACT for people of diverse sexuality and gender.

Phone: (02) 6257 2855 (9am–4pm, Monday–Friday)

Twenty10 incorporating GLCS NSW (also services ACT)

Provides a range of support services and social spaces for people of diverse genders, sexualities and sexes in NSW. Services are aimed specifically at people aged under 26.

Metro support: (02) 8594 9555 (10am – 6pm, Monday–Friday)
Regional support free call: 1800 65 2010 (10am – 6pm, Monday–Friday)
Email: info@twenty10.org.au

A Gender Agenda

Information website and online community for gender-diverse people in the ACT. Information on support groups that you can connect with is also available via their website.

Phone: (02) 6162 1924

New South Wales

Twenty10 incorporating GLCS NSW

Provides a range of support services and social spaces for people of diverse genders, sexualities and sexes in NSW. Services are aimed specifically at people aged under 26.

Metro support: (02) 8594 9555 (10am – 6pm, Monday–Friday)
Regional support free call: 1800 65 2010 (10am – 6pm, Monday–Friday)
Email: info@twenty10.org.au

The Gender Centre Inc.

Provides information and support to trans and gender-diverse people in NSW.

9am–noon, 1–4.30pm, Monday–Friday
Phone: (02) 9519 7599
Regional NSW: (02) 9569 2366
Email: reception@gendercentre.org.au

ACON

ACON is a NSW based organisation specialising in HIV prevention, HIV support and LGBTIQ health. Services include state-wide counselling, care coordination, substance support, peer education and health promotion.
 
Phone: 1800 063 060

Northern Territory

Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council (NTHAC)

The NTAHC is the main point of contact for people in the Northern Territory who have questions about sexuality or gender, and can put you in contact with local services that provide support.

Phone: (08) 8944 7777
Email: info@ntahc.org.au

Queensland

Diverse Voices

A non-profit organisation with a focus on the wellbeing of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) communities through the operation of teleweb counselling services.

3pm–midnight, 7 days a week
Phone: 1800 184 527

The Queensland AIDS Council

A non-profit organisation that provides support services, information and counselling for sex and gender-diverse people in Queensland.

Phone: (07) 3017 1777
Outside Brisbane: 1800 177 434

Open Doors Youth Service

A drop-in centre and support service for young people who identify as sex, gender or sexuality diverse. As well as support services, they offer a range of peer support programs and social events – providing a safe space for young people in Queensland.

Phone: (07) 3257 7660
Email: opendoors@opendoors.net.au

QSpace 

QSpace is drop-in space for LGBTQIA+ young people. It's run by the Expanded Horizons Program and provides an opportunity to socialise, skill share and explore the community. Specific programs as well as casual activities are offered.

Phone: 0437 013 710 (Wednesday & Thursday)
Email: r.rive@wmq.org.au

South Australia

Bfriend

Phone, email and face-to-face support for sexuality- and gender-diverse people. They also have a structured mentorship program.

Phone: (08) 8202 5190

SHINESA

SHINESA offer a Sexual Health line and clinical services (including doctors and counsellors) for people who are intersex, gender diverse and of all sexualities. They also offer a Gender Wellbeing Service for people who are transgender, gender diverse and gender questioning.

Contact: 1300 794 584

Tasmania

Switchboard

Anonymous, free telephone counselling, information and referrals for the LGBTQIA+ communities of Victoria and Tasmania.

3pm–midnight, 7 days a week
Phone: 1800 184 527
Email: admin@switchboard.org.au

Working It Out

Tasmania’s gender and sexuality support and education service provides direct support, including free and confidential counselling, support groups, education programs and workplace training.

WIO North:
Phone: (03) 6334 4013
Email: north@workingitout.org.au

WIO Northwest:
Phone: (03) 6432 3643
Email: northwest@workingitout.org.au

WIO South:
Phone: (03) 6231 1200
Email: south@workingitout.org.au

Victoria

Switchboard

Anonymous, free telephone counselling, information and referrals for the LGBTQIA+ communities of Victoria and Tasmania.

3pm–midnight, 7 days a week
Phone: 1800 184 527
Email: admin@switchboard.org.au

Zoe Belle Gender Centre (ZBGC)

An online service supporting the health and wellbeing of Victoria’s sexuality and gender-diverse community, with information available to anyone in Australia. The ZBGC also provides an online Q&A service for people seeking answers to their questions about sexuality and gender diversity.

Western Australia

Living Proud

Available to anyone to talk about sexuality and gender, no matter what they identify as. Their phone counsellors can also refer you to gender- and sexuality-friendly doctors, psychologists, counsellors or lawyers, and other community groups that you might wish to connect with. They also run community workshops and inclusivity training.

7–10 pm, Monday–Friday
Phone: 1800 184 527

The Freedom Centre

Provides safe social spaces, peer support, information and referral for young gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer and questioning young people under age 26.

Phone: (08) 9228 0354
Email: info@freedom.org.au

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